On July 14th, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Palazzini assumed command of the Charleston District. Palazzini comes to the Charleston District after serving as the deputy commander of the Sacramento District. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Wharton School of Business and even served as the course director for macroeconomics at West Point. He has served around the world, including in Germany, Kosovo and Iraq.
Palazzini brings with him a wealth of diverse experience so we sat down with him to get to know his personality and showcase his plans for leadership for the next two years. This article showcases those answers, as well as photos from the Change of Command.
- What are you most excited about for your new position as district commander?
I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone in the district to better understand how we deliver such excellent results for our partners.
- You’re our first commander that has previously served as a deputy commander in USACE. How do you think this experience will help you?
I hope it takes some of the burden off of everyone else. As you know, just learning USACE acronyms takes some time! There will be plenty to learn here, so hopefully I can move quickly to learning the business of Charleston District.
- What is your leadership philosophy?
My role as a leader is to set conditions for organizational success. I will have done my job as a leader if I encourage employee development, communicate our successes and challenges clearly with higher echelons, and guide the district towards future opportunities to ensure consistent workload in the future.
- What or who has prepared you most for this opportunity?
I have worked for several extremely professional officers who took the time to mentor me and teach me how to lead, manage, and motivate. I also get so much support and encouragement from my family. I owe so much to all of them!
- You’ve attended two of the most prestigious schools in the country (West Point and Wharton School of Business) and even taught at West Point. How have these experiences shaped you as a leader compared to the more traditional military leadership roles?
I was truly fortunate to have those educational experiences. They’ve helped me realize the value in a collaborative work environment where everyone’s input leads to the optimal solution. I’ve done my best to blend those experiences with the skills I developed leading Soldiers in combat. Being a decisive leader and valuing input are not mutually exclusive, but actually very complementary skills.
- What do you expect of the employees you'll command?
I simply ask you all give 100% effort every day and remember the incredible public service we provide to the nation. From what I’ve seen so far, this is second nature to the employees of Charleston District!
- Do you have a tactic or initiative that you’d like to start at the Charleston District?
My only plans right now are to meet as many people as possible and learn about the district. Any initiatives I consider will come from employee recommendations.
- What do you hope to leave behind after your time as the Charleston District commander?
A vibrant district of dedicated employees working to serving the nation. Which is exactly what I think Charleston District is now!